Wedding Planning Tips | Why you need a videographer


Capturing your wedding day on video is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself on this once in a lifetime occasion.  One such a joyous, memory filled day, you will forget something. You'll miss a moment. In the grand scheme of life, the wedding day memories become fleeting as the years pass. And although we believe your photos can and will help you relive the momentous occasion, there is something to be said about the magical way a video puts the day into motion all over again.

Having a wedding day film will remind you of father of the bride or groomsmen the speech you forgot the words to. The way the first kiss after those emotional vows felt. How the icing from your wedding cake was smudged your cheek after the cake cutting.  The way your grandmother's laughter lit up the room. How your flower girl and ringbearer it the dancefloor before anyone else had a chance. The loving embrace from your best friend, who was so overjoyed that this moment had finally arrived for you.  Or how spouse looked at you as you glided down the aisle in THE DRESS on the first day of your forever. THESE moments, when seen on the screen, have such power.

 I encourage all of my couples to prioritize what is most important to them. And one thing I know for sure is that having a memorable day to start your life as husband and wife, is usually the first on a list that could include gorgeous flowers, great food or amazing entertainment.  Of every single line item in your budget, I will always encourage you to make room for videography. Because I've never had a couple regret it.  It is 100% worth the investment.  

I recently asked one of my favorite cinematographers, Abraham Stewart,  the Owner, DS Media & Films to weigh in on some of the common questions I hear. Below are his answers (and one of his gorgeous films of a recent Elleson couple). 

What is the biggest misconception about wedding film? One of the biggest misconceptions I've witnessed is many brides and grooms that are not familiar with modern video have this idea that videographers still use those huge shoulder-mount cameras with the bright lights while chasing after your guests for interviews! They cannot be more wrong! Of course, there are still a few old school videographers that take this approach, but most video crews nowadays have reduced the size of their equipment and have dramatically increased the quality of the modern wedding video. Most couples do not realize that many video teams use the same camera bodies as photographers do. This alone eliminates the distractions the couple may fear, as their guests will just assume we are photographers as well! And no, we will never chase down your guest's for video interviews (at least not us)! 

 What is the difference between videography and cinematography?

Cinematography is an art form of story-telling. This term is used whenever a studio specializes in narrative video and is able to capture the emotional rollercoaster of the day. Typically these "cinematic wedding films" go through a very intricate editing process; just as any narrative film may go through (sound design/mixing, color correction/grading, musical integration, and most importantly the structure of a storyline). However, these days it seems as though many video studios are using the term "cinematography" quite loosely. I personally feel this has become the new way to market and attract clientele, but it is extremely easy to tell the difference between a REAL professional and just another person with a camera.

Videography is simply a straightforward documentation of the day. There is little to no creativity involved. Just a simple documentary-style video. I have received this question a few times during consultations and I always tell couples that the terminology doesn't really matter as long as they like the style that a particular studio offers.

What qualities should a couple look for when hiring their video/cinematographer? Apart from the obvious reviews, try seeking references from your photographer! A reputable videographer/cinematographer that has a solid work relationship with multiple photographers is always a guaranteed winner. Also, if your video is a huge deal to you, I would suggest avoiding video studios that contract freelance videographers to shoot your event. Do not be fooled by the awesome videos they have posted online because the chances that you may be assigned anyone that good are rather slim! I worked as a freelance shooter for several companies prior to going solo and the inconsistency in quality that I witnessed being delivered to clients was absolutely ridiculous! Always ask who will be shooting your wedding and to view their personal portfolio prior to booking. 

How much time, on average, do you invest in a single wedding? It all depends on the wedding itself and how much was covered on the day of. Some events are obviously larger and more detailed than others and may require more or less coverage. Others may have booked a more creative package which requires a more intricate editing session. But regardless of the workload, I like to stay within a 30-day turn-around or a 40-hour session. 

In your opinion, wedding videography should be? (example: a part of every wedding budget, an heirloom, the documentation of an epic love story, etc.). I sincerely love the idea of capturing memories in the moment, so I strongly feel like videography should be a staple in every couple's budget. Even if you can only afford a student filmmaker, just the idea of always having those memories in motion is a special thing :) 

And just for fun... what is your favorite part of the day to capture? Definitely the bride and groom preparations and the toasts! You never know what may happen during prep, and being able to capture the most informal part the day can be the key for some great moments! I love love love toasts! But as much as I love toasts/speeches, I also dislike them a little. Dialogue plays a big part in our films and the toasts can make it, or sometimes break it a little...

I hope this helped you make the decision to hire a video or cinematographer easier! I'm here for you during this process - so if you still have questions, please ask!